|The walk training schedule that got us to the end intact|
Let's start off with the training. A good friend recommended that we follow a training schedule to get our bodies (and especially our feet) in condition for the Walk, and I have to say that this is a definite key to our success and enjoyment of the event. Sore feet are no fun at all from what we could see from other walkers, and we were blissfully free of any blisters or chafing to speak of. Physically, aside from being tired and sweaty (in other words, super glamorous), we had absolutely no sequellae from the Walk. In fact, we were basically back to normal the very next day, something I did not expect.
The next day, both the Nerd and I felt fine, albeit a little more tired in the legs than usual during our normal workouts. We slept great the evening of the walk, and had no significant leg pain to speak of. And this morning it was back to my normal elliptical routine with 60 minutes on the elliptical, and I felt great (other than the fact that I was on the elliptical machine for 60 minutes, that is!). Although I did begrudge the time spent doing the training walks when we were doing them, the training and preparation sure paid off. I know it is possible to do the Walk without training at all, but we had more fun than some of the people who did not prepare simply because our conditioning was exactly what we needed and because we felt fine all the way through.
|Before the Walk - a little nervous...and damp|
Fortunately for us though, although it started off grey and drizzly, the day quickly cleared up into intermittent sun and clouds, not too hot, and with a nice breeze. Perfect walking conditions, in other words.
|Waiting for the start|
With the speeches done it was time to hit the road...only to get caught up in the mother of all traffic jams made up of literally thousands of walkers. Toronto traffic is bad at the best of times, and it is good to know that sidewalk traffic can be just as messed up. It was worst at the start, but equally bad on some of the small neighborhood streets we were traversing, simply because the sidewalks there were never designed for foot traffic in our numbers.
Although our team wanted to walk together, we were pretty far back in the pack and the Nerd and I are impatient people by nature so he and I tried to follow our natural pace that quickly took us closer to the front. It turns out that we finished reasonably far ahead of the rest of our team, but as everyone had fun and made it to the end, I think it still counts as mission accomplished for us all.
One of the more moving moments of the Walk was when we passed Princess Margaret Hospital (the recipient of our fundraising dollars) and ran a veritable gauntlet of doctors and patients cheering us all on. I am not ashamed to admit that I got a little misty eyed at that point, which I am blaming on air pollution or someone cutting onions in the vicinity rather than the attack of the feels which it really was. Very moving, to say the least, especially when you consider that all we were doing was spending one day taking rather a longer walk than usual, and those people are fighting the battle against cancer every single day. I tried to clap and cheer them, but I do not know if they could hear me over the general cacophony.
|The 2014 Walk to End Women's Cancers Walk Route - Day 1|
The very final stretch was through another gauntlet of cheering volunteers into the Skydome itself with our arrival announced via the PA system to all in the area and our faces on the jumbotron. Well, the Nerd's face and the top of my head, probably, as I kept looking down at the stairs we had to descend to make sure I did not wipe out in front of all and sundry (I remained trip free on the day, yipee, although I did get stepped on once and elbowed once in the chest - ouch!).
|After the walk, glad to be done!|
Once we arrived we took stock and were pleased to note that our only physical symptoms after our long walk was a little stiffness and tiredness in the legs. We were feeling so fine that we walked the mile and a half home and even did a little grocery shopping, although we perhaps looked a little more bedraggled than usual. Understand me when I say that bedraggled is probably being kind.
We had one additional win for the day, as if doing a good deed, pushing our limits, and discovering hidden strengths was not enough - - both the Nerd and I topped out at more than 50,000 steps during the day, the first time either of us have done that.
Would I do it again? Very likely, if I am still at my current company. After all, now they know I can do it, so there's no excuse not to do it again...but we don't need to worry about that right now. All that matters is that there are no training walks for me in the near future - - any walks I take will be for fun...and maybe for fitness.
Back to the normal routine tomorrow!